Saint Bernard, abbot and doctor of the church

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By Dale DePoyster

Saint Bernard was born in the year A.D. 1090 in the town of Fontaines, France. Being the third son of Tescelin Sorrel, a Burgundian noble, Bernard was sent to Chatillon on the Seine to study after a friend foretold of his great abilities.
Bernard wavered about which direction his life should take, so one day while walking he stopped in the local church and prayed to God for guidance. He came away with his mind fixed on following the Cistercian life; the life of a monk. He proceeded to enlist many friends to join him and by the time they arrived at Citeaux and knocked on the door, the abbot joyfully accepted 31 men. Bernard was a profound leader, which assisted him the rest of his life.
After his death in 1153 he was made a saint by Pope Alexander III in 1174 and Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius VIII in 1830.
His extensive writings include this…
“Will it please you Lord Jesus, to give me your life, as you have given your conception? ‘Not only my conception will I give you,’ Jesus says, ‘but also my life and this through each stage of life, infancy, boyhood, adolescence, and young manhood. And I will add to this my death, my resurrection, my ascension and the sending of the Holy Spirit. I will do this so that my conception may cleanse yours, my life may instruct your life, my death may destroy your death, my resurrection may make a way for yours, my ascension may precede yours, and that my Spirit may assist you in your weakness.’”
Contemplate that for a while. From an abbey in France, his writings from 1,000 years ago are still profound and speak directly to the heart and soul of us all.

Dale DePoyster writes from his home in western Kentucky. He is a Eucharistic minister, high school religious teacher and lector. Contact him at dale54@live.com.